The Los Angeles Clippers won their sixth game in a row last night. They beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-87, improving their record to 8-2 early on this season. It was Chris Paul who made the game clinching fade away shot from just inside the free throw line, with only 24 seconds remaining in the game.It was the first game this season that the Clippers needed Paul to close out a game and he delivered, as always.
The Clippers bench has earned most of the credit through the first nine games and will continue to play a huge role for them this season. However, last night people were reminded of the Clippers ultimate weapon, which is Paul’s ability to finish games. This is the weapon that will take this Clippers team to the promise land.
On most nights, Paul will hang around and get his teammates involved for the first three quarters, occasionally taking jump shots that he seems to always make. The fourth quarter eventually comes around and he turns into a completely different player. If his team is trailing with less than five minutes to play, he goes into complete takeover mode.
He will start demanding for high pick and rolls and will create mismatches, forcing a one-on-one situation with a big man who has no chance at guarding him. He either blows by his man or just creates enough space for a wide open jumper around the free throw line, finishing with two points almost 90 percent of the time.
The Clippers bench was once again impressive in last night’s win, but they still needed Paul at the end of the game. This team will always need Paul to turn into that player at the end of games and sometimes for even more than just the fourth quarter. He is one of the best players in the league because he has that ability to flip the switch, especially when his team is in need.
Every team needs a closer to make a run at an NBA championship and the Clippers definitely have that guy.
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